| || There is no denying that Deltora can be dangerous for the unwary or ill-informed!
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| || Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.
Dragon is in need of more information! Dragon is lacking This page should be changed to reflect the fact that there exist dragons outside Deltora. It also needs a detailed description of the dragons' roles in Deltora Quest 3.
The majority of this article is about the seven species of dragon native to Deltora. For the Dragon in Rowan of Rin, see Dragon of the Mountain
Dragons are large, magical, flying, reptillian creatures, most notably found in Deltora, also called the Land of Dragons for this reason, due to the land being home to large numbers of the magical beasts.
Each Deltoran species of dragon is territorial to its respective territory and shares it with its respective tribe and gem. Once abundant in Deltora, dragon species steadily declined under hunting and persecution by the Shadow Lord's Ak-Baba, bringing them to the brink of extinction. Only one of each type of dragon survived slaughter by the Ak-Baba by entering a dormant sleep at the urging of Doran the Dragonlover until Lief, king of Deltora, woke them from their sleep.
In ages past, dragons roamed the skies of Deltora (then called the Land of Dragons) freely and without fear. They were the land's guardians, and had a special connection to sense when it was hurt or in danger. This connection notified the dragons of the cataclysmic event that merged Deltora and its sister island, Pirra. The dragons took to the air for the duration of the event.
A race known as the Capricon stole Ruby dragon eggs to turn them into lanterns to decorate their beautiful city of Capra. The dragons gave them three warnings to stop the slaughter, but the Capricons were drunk on the idea of perfecting their city. In retaliation, the dragons destroyed the city; sometime later, the city of Broome was built on Capra's ruins.
When the Shadow Lord first arrived in Emerald territory, he was confronted by an Emerald dragon. He attempted to persuade the dragon to serve him with promises of treasure and power, but the dragon rebuffed his offers and blasted him with fire. After he fled into the mountains, the dragons remained vigilant should he attempt a return.
During his exile, the Shadow Lord sent his servants to steal dragon eggs so he could raise his own dragon army. None of these ventures succeeded.
Battle for Deltora
When the Shadow Lord began its invasion of Deltora, the dragons opposed him. While they did not fight alongside the human armies, they burned swaths of Greers whenever they could. However, the Shadow Lord was well prepared for the dragons. During its exile, it bred seven monstrous birds called Ak-Baba, which could kill lone dragons by hunting in a well disciplined pack. They killed lone dragons when they could and fled when the numbers were unfavorable.
During Adin's quest to forge the Belt of Deltora, he was aided by dragons on several occasions. A Lapis Lazuli dragon saved Adin from a Sand Beast in the Shifting Sands, allowing him to return the Sand Beast's head to the chiefs of the Mere tribe in exchange for the Lapis Lazuli. Later, the Ralads called a Ruby dragon's aid to distract a battalion of Greers so that they could bring Adin to their city.
An Opal dragon appeared in the skies above Hira during the Battle for Deltora. It fought against the seven Ak-Baba, which kept them from attacking the armies of Deltora. The palace of Del is decorated with the images of Opal dragons in grattitude.
Decline of the dragons
Over the years since the Battle of Deltora, people began to lose their faith in the dragons. Farmers saw them as pests who stole their livestock, and maidens were frequently abducted so that their hair could line dragon nests. The people of Broome distrusted dragons due to the Ruby dragons destroying the city of Capra. It became custom for all the women of the city to shave their heads to deter dragons from coming; in other regions women would cut their hair and leave it hanging in trees so that the dragons would not carry them off. Only the Jalis tribe had any respect for dragons; they saw them as the ultimate test of valor for their knights to slay.
During the time of King Lucan, a explorer named Doran began studying dragons. He became fascinated with them, and talked to them on the same level as humans. Because of this, all seven dragon tribes divulged personal secrets to him, and bestowed him with the title "Dragonfriend." To the people of Deltora he was known as Dragonlover.
As the power of the Belt of Deltora diminished, the Shadow Lord was able to send his Ak-Baba into Deltora to hunt the dragons. With the dragons extinct, nothing could thwart the Shadow Lord's plans for the Four Sisters to slowly poison Deltora. Doran pleaded for the king to intervene, but was always rebuffed. The people of Deltora were more than happy to have fewer dragons.
While traveling Deltora to create the travellers' guide Secrets of Deltora, Doran used the opportunity to check up on the dragon populations. By the end of his journey there was only one member of each tribe left. Fortunately, Doran was able to convince each dragon to go into hiding until a king wearing the Belt of Deltora would come to their territories and awaken them. He also made them promise not to invade another dragon's territory. The dragons agreed, and went into an enchanted sleep.
Doran had Secrets of Deltora completed by Withick, Deltora's greatest artist, to ensure that the book would make its way to Lucan's son, prince Gareth. He also hid a secret message inside the text, in a code that he knew Gareth would know how to decipher. Withick died shortly after Doran returned to Del. Chief Advisor Drumm declared that the book was too valuable to be shown to the public, and had it locked away. Because of this, the dragons remained in sleep far longer than any of them anticipated. The Diamond dragon Forta died in her sleep when she was consumed by Fleshbanes.
Deltora Quest 2
Cavern of The Fear
King Lief, Barda, Jasmine, and Glock encountered the last of the Topaz dragons — Fidelis — in the Os-Mine Hills on their way to the Secret sea. At the time, Lief was wearing a replica of the Belt of Deltora, so the dragon did not wake. However, his presence caused Fidelis to open his eye momentarily, mesmerising Lief.
Deltora Quest 3
After destroying the crystal, Lief, Barda, Jasmine, and Doom learned of the Four Sisters, found the first part of the Four Sisters map, and read Doran's last entry in The Deltora Annals. Lief, Barda, and Jasmine set out to awaken the dragons to destroy the Sisters, and journeyed to the Os-Mine Hills where they knew a Topaz dragon slept. Fidelis woke when he felt the presence of the Topaz and immediately began searching for a meal. He seized a Granous that had attacked Lief and scattered the rest of the pack, and sensed the presence of The Sister of the South. He refused to aid Lief in his quest to destroy the Sister of the East unless it were discovered that the last Ruby Dragon had perished.
Making their way into the territory of the Ruby, Lief and his companions sought out the Ruby dragon, only to learn that a dragon had apparently attacked their guards after they had parted ways from them. While initially believing it to have been Fidelis, they later came to fear that it was the Ruby dragon, and also believed it had allied with the Shadow Lord. However, they later discovered that the Capricon Rolf had been given the ability to become a false Dragon after he was defeated by Joyeu. It was also widely told at the time that the Ruby dragons had destroyed Capra because of its beauty.
Joyeu later came to Broome to offer Lief and his companions a ride to the edge of her territory, greatly reducing the length of their journey to the Lapis Lazuli territory. Some time later, after recovering the Belt of Deltora from a thief at The Funnel, they discovered that the waterfall had been the hiding place of Fortuna, the Lapis Lazuli dragon. Feeling that the well-being of Deltora was more important that her past oath-and suggesting that the last Emerald dragon might be dead-she carried the group to Shadowgate. However, the Emerald dragon Honora was awakened and quickly pursued Fortuna from her territory, only barely returning in time to help Lief destroy the Sister of the North.
Isle of the Dead
While traveling to the Amethyst territory with the aid of the Kin, Lief and his companions were pursued by Honora, who crossed the border of her territory and claimed to desire the return of the Emerald. She was persuaded against this course by a reminder of the words of Doran, but did not apologise for her actions against Fortuna or her own violation of her vow to Doran. Veritas, the last Amethyst dragon, was later awakened by the presence of Lief in his territory, but when Lief was trapped aboard The Lady Luck Veritas was left without the Amethyst's strength to call upon and badly weakened by his struggle to emerge from the Dreaming Dunes. Fortunately Lief and Barda came ashore there, and were soon joined by a group from the city of Tora who freed Veritas, enabling him to recover his strength.
Veritas offered his aid in the event that Lief was unable to find or rouse the last Diamond dragon, and was summoned after Forta was found dead on Blood Lily Island. He later came to Lief's aid when he and his companions were menaced by a Kobb, but was unable to best the creature due to its great size and his own continued weakness. Entering the cave of the Sister of the West, they discovered that it had been placed within an ancient Doran as punishment for his interference in the Shadow Lord's plans. Lief then showed Doran a Diamond dragon that had hatched from an egg protected by Forta's skeleton, and Veritas breathed in so that Doran would at last be freed. He then destroyed the Sister before carrying Lief and his companions back to the mainland, where he collapsed from exhaustion for a time.
The Sister of the South
Veritas elected to remain in the Diamond territory for a time to raise the infant Diamond dragon after attending Doran's funeral. Lief arrived in Del to find that Fidelis had come to the city a number of times in search of the Sister of the South only to be driven away by the people, who feared that he meant harm. Fidelis saved Lief from Paff's creature only to be wounded by Lindal of Broome, and departed only to return later to help destroy the Sister. He was once again attacked by Lindal, who believed that he intended to destroy Del as the Ruby dragons had destroyed Capra, but subdued her without killing her. Though badly injured and weakened he fought against the creature with the aid of Lief, Steven, and Nevets, before destroying the Sister after it inexplicably weakened.
After the Shadow Lord's plan to destroy Deltora was revealed, Fidelis carried Lief, Barda, and Jasmine to the Opal territory to confront the Grey tide, where they were briefly menaced by the newly awakened Hopian before the Ak-Baba arrived to threaten both of them. With the two dragons weakening under the onslaught and unable to stop the tide alone, Lief used the Belt and memories obtained from Doran's soul-stone to call to all seven surviving dragons by name. The other five soon arrived, killing all but three of the Ak-Baba while the survivors fled, and then united their flames to destroy the tide. An uneasy truce was reached between them due to them all now knowing each other's names; at this time Veritas gave the diamond infant the name of her mother, Forta. Fidelis, Joyeu, and Fortun carried Lief and his allies back to Del, where all seven of the dragons later attended Lief and Jasmine's wedding.
Rowan of Rin
Rowan of Rin
Rowan and the Zebak
Dragons exist in seven tribes, mirroring the seven tribes of Deltora, with each tribe having an affiliation with one of the great gems. They are highly territorial toward dragons of other tribes and have the innate ability to sense if another tribe's dragon has trespassed in their land. The dragons' eyes and the scales on their upper bodies match the gem they are affiliated with, but all dragons have pale undersides that change colour to match the sky above them. This is a highly effective camouflage. Dragon eyes have a hypnotic quality to them.
All dragons are highly intelligent, powerful, capable of human speech, and have a degree of pride. Doran advises travellers that encounter dragons to bow their heads and remain still, greet the dragon politely – using its gem name, such as "dragon of the Topaz" – praise the beauty of the dragon's territory, and ask permission to leave. He also advises never to turn your back on a dragon. To dragons, knowing a being's true name is to have great power over that being. As a result, asking for a dragon's true name is considered highly offensive. Conversely, a dragon willingly giving its true name shows an extremely high degree of trust. Teeth, which symbolize strength, wisdom, and power, are also prominent in dragon superstitions, and newborn dragons are encouraged to swallow their baby teeth when their adult fangs grow in.
Dragons are generally solitary creatures, though they may occasionally enjoy company. It appears that dragons hold their mates in high regard, as Fortuna and Forta both grieved over the death of their mates. All dragons have a particular fondness for human hair, which they use to line their stony nests. They will, however, make do with all manner of other soft objects.
Dragons breed very slowly, typically only having one or two offspring in their entire lifespans. Dragon eggs are large, have very thick and hard shells coloured to match their tribe's gem, and do not need heat. The egg can hatch after roughly six months, at which point the egg must be exposed either to fire or, in the case of baby Forta, the Belt of Deltora and the dragon tribe's gem. Normally the egg's parents provide the fire that encourages the hatching, but another dragon may do so if it chooses. To offset the slow birthrate of dragons, the eggs may remain dormant for centuries. Doran also said that both male and female dragons can produce eggs alone if the need is dire. Newly hatched dragons – called "dragonlings" – are initially palm-sized and can walk and breathe fire immediately. They form their titanium-hard skin in the egg. Dragons grow rapidly after hatching and never stop growing until the day they die. They have natural lifespans of roughly 500 years.
Dragons of all tribes have the ability to enter an enchanted sleep, wherein they are apparently only able to be awakened by their tribe’s gem wielded in the Belt of Deltora by the king of the land. This sleep allows the dragons to survive without eating, drinking, or moving for centuries. It was in this manner that six of Deltora's remaining dragons were saved from being hunted by the Ak-Baba (one was eaten by Fleshbanes as she slept on Blood Lily Island).
Although dragons are dangerous, they hunt only to satisfy their hunger and feed their young, and as soon as villagers began leaving out tresses of hair in Spring, they stopped abducting maidens at nesting time. They have no wish to harm anyone, but are simply a part of the natural order of Deltora.
Dragons are carnivorous and, as apex predators, could prey on virtually any of the fauna in Deltora with impunity. A dragon's diet varies greatly depending on their habitat and the territory that they live in. Topaz dragons, or at least the ones that nest around the Os-Mine Hills, prey heavily on Granous. Lapis Lazuli dragons consider Terreocti a delicacy and are their only natural predators. Emerald dragons, some of the only creatures immune to Ooze Toad venom, prey upon Ooze Toads and Stingers. All dragons seem to include fish in their diets. Dragons from the Ruby, Amethyst and Diamond territories seem to feed primarily on fish, possibly because their territories are on the coast. Diamond dragons are also known to feed on Blood Lilies, indicating that dragons have the possibility to be omnivores.
- Main article: Diamond dragon
Diamond dragons have colourless scales that glitter in the light, making some mistake their colour for silver. They share many traits with the Jalis knights; they are aggressive and ruthless toward their enemies, but are loyal and generous towards friends. They are also highly superstitious and respectful of tradition. Diamond dragons are physically the strongest tribe of dragons, and because of this Jalis knights would hunt them as proof of their valor.
Diamond dragons prey on almost every species of animal in their territory, from fish, sea serpents, and Kobb young to Bird Banes, Diamond Pythons, and Tuskers. They feed on livestock and other domestic animals on occasion, and have even been known to graze on plant life such as Blood Lilies and Grippers.
- Main article: Emerald dragon
Emerald dragons have glittering green scales and believe in honour above all else. Because of this, they are proud, stern, and lack senses of humour, but are also very dependable. They are also strong and often confrontational, particularly toward Lapis Lazuli dragons, whom they view as dishonourable.
Emerald dragons prefer a diet of cold-blooded creatures, such as Bubblers, Stingers, Blood Creepers, eels, and Ooze Toads. They will eat warm-blooded creatures, including humans, gnomes, domestic animals and Kin if they are desperate.
Lapis Lazuli dragons
- Main article: Lapis Lazuli dragon
Lapis Lazuli dragons have midnight blue scales covered in silver marking resembling stars. They are physically smaller and lighter than other dragons, but are able to fly much faster as a result. They have unusually long necks. They are impulsive, easily bored, and friendlier than most other dragon tribes. Lapis Lazuli dragons also have quick wits, enjoy songs, and have good senses of humour. They strongly believe in luck and like to take risks as a result. They are frequently at odds with Emerald dragons, which look down on them for believing in luck rather than honour. Likewise, Lapis Lazuli dragons enjoy taunting the Emerald dragons.
Lapis Lazuli dragons feed exclusively on cold-blooded creatures and express disgust at the thought of eating warm-blooded animals. Their favourite prey are Terreocti, as the dragons enjoy their crunchiness. They will also eat fish, snakes, and lizards.
- Main article: Topaz dragon
Topaz dragons have golden-yellow scales and eyes. They are thoughtful and spiritual, traits befitting their gem. They are also reliable, determined, and serious. A Topaz dragon is featured in the Tenna Birdsong Tale, The Girl with the Golden Hair.
- Main article: Opal dragon
Opal dragons' scales and eyes glitter in a rainbow of colours. They are serious and formal and lack the impulsive nature of Lapis Lazuli dragons. Instead, they prefer to be careful and plan their actions. Their eyesight is the best among the dragon tribes, a reference to the clairvoyant powers of the Opal. At least one Opal dragon participated in the Battle for Deltora.
Opal dragons feed on most of the fauna in their territory, including Muddlet foals, Pinwheel Vipers, rats, and fish from the River Broad. They do not, however, eat Wise Fish. Fighting Spiders are a delicacy to them.
- Main article: Ruby dragon
Ruby dragons' scales and eyes are coloured in shades of red, from bright ruby red to deep maroon. Ruby dragons are generally good-natured, playful, and slow to anger. This kindness reflects the Ruby, which represents happiness. The Ralads respect the Ruby dragons and view them as being vitally connected to Deltora's fate.
- Main article: Amethyst dragon
Amethyst dragons have scales and eyes coloured in shades of violet and purple. They are wise, philosophical, and intelligent, even by dragon standards, and enjoy intelligent discussion and poetry. They are also responsible and value truth, befitting their gem.
Amethyst dragons are on average the largest of Deltora's dragons and have the longest lifespans of the seven dragon tribes. Unlike other dragons, Amethyst dragons do not sleep in caves or other secluded locations, but sleep in the open.
Dragon of Maris
The Dragon has its lair on top of the Mountain on the island of Maris. Its scales are white and it breathes fire. The beast has lived on the Mountain as long as the people of Rin can remember. This dragon does not seem to display the intelligence or at least ability to communicate with humans that Deltoran dragons do.
- Though the book describes dragons with six limbs, and most of the illustrations support this, the artwork for Lapis Lazuli dragons in Secrets of Deltora depicts them as four limbed—like a wyvern.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rodda, Emily. Dragon's Nest. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2005.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rodda, Emily. The Sister of the South. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 Rodda, Emily. Secrets of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2008.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rodda, Emily. Isle of the Dead. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Rodda, Emily. Cavern of The Fear. Scholastic Australia. 2002.
- ↑ Rodda, Emily. The Shadowlands. Scholastic Australia. 2002.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Rodda, Emily. Shadowgate. Scholastic Australia. 2004.